The maiden Nurse and Midwife Specialist Society of Ghana (NMSSG) biennial conference has opened in Accra, with the call on specialist nurses and midwives to carve a niche for themselves.
The three-day conference is on the theme, “Investing in specialist nurses and midwives: A catalyst for improved quality and accessible healthcare.”
Mrs Eva Mensah, Director, Nursing and Midwifery, Ghana Health Service, said specialist nurses and midwives must always have something that distinguished them from the general pool of nurses and ensure that their work had an impact on their facilities.
“It is not an easy journey to have some level of specialty in this profession and so as specialist, you must create a niche for yourselves and distinguish yourselves from the general pull in order to make an impact.”
Mrs Mensah said healthcare was very dynamic and old knowledge could no longer be useful hence the need for specialization in to provide quality healthcare services to the public.
She called for a collaborate effort to encourage general nurses and midwives to specialize in order to be given the needed recognition in their various facilities.
Dr Barnabas Kwame Yeboah, Head of Nursing and Midwifery, Ministry of Health, said specialised nursing and midwifery training had become imperative based on the changing and evolving trends in the profession.
He said quality healthcare could not be achieved if, time, money and resources were not invested into training specialists who would become experts in the field and relevant and dependable in the healthcare delivery system.
Dr Yeboah said as a country “we are inspired by the National Health Policy of Ghana to train specialists because we have identified specialist training as one of the key components of capacity building, and the best way to address the health needs of Ghanaians.”
He urged specialized practitioners to always raise their profile in terms of leadership and service, lead in quality procedures, introduce innovations and work hard to gain the needed recognition.
Mr Mark Anthony Azongo, Chairman, NMSSG, noted that the contribution of specialist nurses and midwives had not been recognised and as such they still encountered issues of improper placement, inadequate support and resources, delay in upgrade of salaries, non-recognition, among others.
He appealed to health facilities to recognize such specialist nurses and midwives as they were assets to the profession and urged specialists to also make a difference in their practice areas.
Mr Azongo said the major topics to be discussed at the conference include, ‘specialised nursing care; nurturing clinical research and evidence-based practice’ and ‘ promoting specialist nursing education: the pivot for improved healthcare outcomes.’
The NMSSG is a group of practicing nurses and midwives’ specialists in Ghana that exist to uphold high professional standards of specialist nursing and midwifery practices in Ghana.
The Society seeks to ensure optimum integration and contribution of nurse and midwife specialist in healthcare practice and leadership, motivate and guide the workforce towards achievement of highest professional standards and establish a competitive and resourceful group of professional to lead change at all levels of healthcare system.